Love Island host Maya Jama has explained that she thinks she didn't land the role previously because producers thought she was 'too young' at the time.
Jama was announced as the new host of Love Island in October last year and will officially take over from Laura Whitmore this month when Winter Love Island kicks off.
In an interview with The Times, Jama, who has voiced support for older contestants on the show, explained that, while she might have been in the running before, her age probably prevented her from landing the role sooner.
'Once you start doing TV, you meet a lot of producers through different shows, and the heads will be aware of talent. That’s weird to call yourself talent, isn’t it? I talk for a living. It’s not exactly tap dancing everywhere or performing a ballad,' Jama said.
'So I think I’ve always been in their eyeline, but I was super young when the presenter shifts were happening in the past. They knew about me but I was always a bit too young, and obviously, there were previous hosts anyway.'
Jama was announced as the new Love Island host in October last year. At the time of the announcement, she said: 'I've always been such a massive Love Island fan and I’m so excited to be hosting one of the nation’s favourite shows!'
Jama's casting went down well, with outgoing host Whitmore giving her seal of approval and previous winners declaring their support for Jama, too.
Former Winter Love Island winner Finley Tapp said: 'I think she'll be brilliant. I think Laura [Whitmore] had that same thing about her when she signed on.
'Everyone was thinking that [Laura] was going to be brilliant and she did an amazing job. So, I can only think that Maya is going to be brilliant at the job too.'
Love Island will return in early 2023 with new host Maya Jama. It airs on ITV2.
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